A La Brava, a non-profit organization, started the film festival in 1995 as a way of fostering artistic achievement and cross-cultural understanding:
At the time, there were few, if any, venues available for Chicanas/os to showcase their film making talent. The film industry was not receptive to Chicano filmmakers and the few films which were being produced for the mainstream market usually depicted our community life as broken and undesirable. Chicano characters rarely amounted to more than thieves or gangsters. There were many other stories about the Chicano community which needed to be told.A complete list of films, including workshops and award ceremonies, is available on their website.